Come this time of year there were huge aggravated cloud patterns in the sky, and a place usually just forlorn took on a harsh elemental quality as though it had not been built by modern estate planners but by prehistoric forces.

The tinkers camped nearby; boys lounged in the cemetery, smoking dope, drinking sherry. At night a whine often rose from the youth club where a record played for a while, couples jived hesitantly. The action took place at the cemetery–the young people of Ballyfermot integrating, getting drunk or stoned silly.

Dublin is a beautiful city, a Viking city. There are inspiring inlets but Ballyfermot is a devil’s dream. Just before you come to the Midlands it lies, another city altogether, an embarrassment, a cage. Jeremy grew up in Ballyfermot; he was a child of the metropolis, a youth in blue denim. In Ballyfermot he had acquired a certain fame, having written a play about a pie-bald horse that toured community centres. His friend Leo had played the horse. Altogether there was comradeship between them, two boys just out of school.

Midnight’s Children
A Scream of Toys